The Ministry of Food and Agriculture will directly engage in transporting foodstuffs from farming communities to sell at controlled prices in the Greater Accra Region.
Food and Agriculture Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto who outlined the plan, believes it will curtail the incessant increase of foodstuff prices in the markets as a result of high transportation cost, and ensure urban consumers enjoy reasonable prices.
Interacting with farmers and input dealers in Sefwi Wiawso of the Western North Region on Monday, Dr Akoto observed that prices of foodstuffs increase in about 10 fold when they are transported to the capital.
The move by the Ministry of Agriculture has however attracted some criticisms. When the Chiana-Paga Communication Officer for the NDC, Apostle Stephen Avoyam spoke on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show, he mentioned that the move is discriminatory and prices of foodstuffs are rising across the country, not just the national capital.
“What about me sitting in Kayoro? [What about] my mother sitting in Chiana or the one sitting in Zuarungu? Is it that I have to travel to Accra and go and buy those at the cheaper price? They want to sell at a cheaper price right? Those who have the money will go and buy and come and sell here [at an expensive price] because they are going to be in business. So it is not going to solve the problem.”
“He is going to sell in Accra. Granted that those in Accra would buy and we wouldn’t get it. Those in Accra would go and buy in a larger quantity at a cheaper price and go and sell it at where they deem fit and business out of it. He got it wrong. Is Ghana Accra? Why is it that he [the Agric Minister] can’t supply to other parts of the country; to the district capitals? We are talking about food, Food and water is a necessity. If we are considering those in Accra, and then you neglect those in the villages, [are you saying] that they should suffer and die?”
Apostle Avoyam indicated that the position of the ministry clearly suggests that they have no care for residents not living in Accra.
“The Minister is telling us that those in the Upper East Region, in the Northern Region, we are not Ghanaians, and so if we are suffering, we should continue to suffer,” he said.
While admitting that Ghana operates a free market system, Apostle Avoyam was confident that the government, if it chose, could implement price regulation schemes to support Ghanaians in the current difficult times.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana